P Agre

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (109)800.83 Total impact

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    S Nielsen · T-H Kwon · J Frøkiaer · P Agre
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery of aquaporin-1 (AQP1) explained the long-standing biophysical question of how water specifically crosses biological membranes. These studies led to the identification of a whole new family of membrane proteins, the aquaporin water channels. At present, at least eight aquaporins are expressed at distinct sites in the kidney and four members of this family (AQP1-4) have been demonstrated to play pivotal roles in the physiology and pathophysiology for renal regulation of body water balance. In the present review, a number of inherited and acquired conditions characterized by urinary concentration defects as well as common diseases associated with severe water retention are discussed with relation to the role of aquaporins in regulation and dysregulation of renal water transport.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · Journal of Internal Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The aquaporin-4 (AQP4) pool in the perivascular astrocyte membranes has been shown to be critically involved in the formation and dissolution of brain edema. Cerebral edema is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in stroke. It is therefore essential to know whether the perivascular pool of AQP4 is up- or down-regulated after an ischemic insult, because such changes would determine the time course of edema formation. Here we demonstrate by quantitative immunogold cytochemistry that the ischemic striatum and neocortex show distinct patterns of AQP4 expression in the reperfusion phase after 90 min of middle cerebral artery occlusion. The striatal core displays a loss of perivascular AQP4 at 24 hr of reperfusion with no sign of subsequent recovery. The most affected part of the cortex also exhibits loss of perivascular AQP4. This loss is of magnitude similar to that of the striatal core, but it shows a partial recovery toward 72 hr of reperfusion. By freeze fracture we show that the loss of perivascular AQP4 is associated with the disappearance of the square lattices of particles that normally are distinct features of the perivascular astrocyte membrane. The cortical border zone differs from the central part of the ischemic lesion by showing no loss of perivascular AQP4 at 24 hr of reperfusion but rather a slight increase. These data indicate that the size of the AQP4 pool that controls the exchange of fluid between brain and blood during edema formation and dissolution is subject to large and region-specific changes in the reperfusion phase.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2006 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Previously, we described the development of hyaluronan (HA) deposition in human tooth germ tissues that are consistent with water transport in different stages of tooth development. The aquaporins (AQP) constitute a family of membrane water channels that are expressed in many organs. However, there are no data available about the expression pattern of aquaporin water channels in dental structures. In the present study we have characterised the expression of six different aquaporin isoforms (AQP1-5, AQP-9) in developing human and mouse tooth germs by immunohistochemistry using isoform specific antibodies. In the "bell stage" AQP1 was expressed in endothelial cells of small vessels whereas no other structures of the tooth primordial were labeled. AQP2, AQP3 and AQP9 immunoreactivity was not observed in tooth germs, whereas strong AQP4 and AQP5 expression was observed in dental lamina, inner enamel epithelium, stratum intermedium, stellate reticulum and the outer enamel epithelium. Oral epithelium also exhibited AQP4 and AQP5 immunolabeling. During development of the matrices of the dental hard tissues AQP4 and AQP5 immunostaining was observed in the odontoblasts and their processes, as well as in the secretory ameloblast and their apical processes. Immunolabeling controls were negative. In conclusion, AQP4 and AQP5 are expressed in tooth germ tissues in early development in cells that previously have been shown to express HA and/or CD44, indicating that AQP water channels may play a role for ECM hydration during tooth development.
    No preview · Article · May 2004 · Archives of Oral Biology
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    P Agre · S Nielsen · O.P. Ottersen

    Preview · Article · Feb 2004 · Neuroscience
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    ABSTRACT: The water channel AQP4 is concentrated in perivascular and subpial membrane domains of brain astrocytes. These membranes form the interface between the neuropil and extracerebral liquid spaces. AQP4 is anchored at these membranes by its carboxyl terminus to alpha-syntrophin, an adapter protein associated with dystrophin. To test functions of the perivascular AQP4 pool, we studied mice homozygous for targeted disruption of the gene encoding alpha-syntrophin (alpha-Syn(-/-)). These animals show a marked loss of AQP4 from perivascular and subpial membranes but no decrease in other membrane domains, as judged by quantitative immunogold electron microscopy. In the basal state, perivascular and subpial astroglial end-feet were swollen in brains of alpha-Syn(-/-) mice compared to WT mice, suggesting reduced clearance of water generated by brain metabolism. When stressed by transient cerebral ischemia, brain edema was attenuated in alpha-Syn(-/-) mice, indicative of reduced water influx. Surprisingly, AQP4 was strongly reduced but alpha-syntrophin was retained in perivascular astroglial end-feet in WT mice examined 23 h after transient cerebral ischemia. Thus alpha-syntrophin-dependent anchoring of AQP4 is sensitive to ischemia, and loss of AQP4 from this site may retard the dissipation of postischemic brain edema. These studies identify a specific, syntrophin-dependent AQP4 pool that is expressed at distinct membrane domains and which mediates bidirectional transport of water across the brain-blood interface. The anchoring of AQP4 to alpha-syntrophin may be a target for treatment of brain edema, but therapeutic manipulations of AQP4 must consider the bidirectional water flux through this molecule.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2003 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Recovery from neuronal activation requires rapid clearance of potassium ions (K+) and restoration of osmotic equilibrium. The predominant water channel protein in brain, aquaporin-4 (AQP4), is concentrated in the astrocyte end-feet membranes adjacent to blood vessels in neocortex and cerebellum by association with alpha-syntrophin protein. Although AQP4 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of brain edema, its functions in normal brain physiology are uncertain. In this study, we used immunogold electron microscopy to compare hippocampus of WT and alpha-syntrophin-null mice (alpha-Syn-/-). We found that <10% of AQP4 immunogold labeling is retained in the perivascular astrocyte end-feet membranes of the alpha-Syn-/- mice, whereas labeling of the inwardly rectifying K+ channel, Kir4.1, is largely unchanged. Activity-dependent changes in K+ clearance were studied in hippocampal slices to test whether AQP4 and K+ channels work in concert to achieve isosmotic clearance of K+ after neuronal activation. Microelectrode recordings of extracellular K+ ([K+]o) from the target zones of Schaffer collaterals and perforant path were obtained after 5-, 10-, and 20-Hz orthodromic stimulations. K+ clearance was prolonged up to 2-fold in alpha-Syn-/- mice compared with WT mice. Furthermore, the intensity of hyperthermia-induced epileptic seizures was increased in approximately half of the alpha-Syn-/-mice. These studies lead us to propose that water flux through perivascular AQP4 is needed to sustain efficient removal of K+ after neuronal activation.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2003
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    ABSTRACT: Aquaporins comprise a family of water-transporting membrane proteins. All aquaporins are efficient water transporters, while sustaining strict selectivity, even against protons, thereby maintaining the proton gradient across the cell membrane. Recently solved structures of these membrane channels have helped us to understand this remarkable property. The structure of the Escherichia coli glycerol facilitator GlpF at 2,2 A resolution has enabled the refinement of a low-resolution human aquaporin-1 structure. This latter structure has recently been confirmed by the 2.2 Angstrom structure of bovine aquaporin-1. Further insights, particularly with respect to the dynamics of water permeation and the filter mechanism, have come from recent molecular dynamics simulations.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2002 · Current Opinion in Structural Biology

  • No preview · Article · Dec 2001 · Current Topics in Membranes
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    ABSTRACT: The Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channel contributes to brain water homeostasis in perivascular astrocyte endfeet where it is concentrated. We postulated that AQP4 is tethered at this site by binding of the AQP4 C terminus to the PSD95-Discs large-ZO1 (PDZ) domain of syntrophin, a component of the dystrophin protein complex. Chemical cross-linking and coimmunoprecipitations from brain demonstrated AQP4 in association with the complex, including dystrophin, beta-dystroglycan, and syntrophin. AQP4 expression was studied in brain and skeletal muscle of mice lacking alpha-syntrophin (alpha-Syn(-/-)). The total level of AQP4 expression appears normal in brains of alpha-Syn(-/-) mice, but the polarized subcellular localization is reversed. High-resolution immunogold analyses revealed that AQP4 expression is markedly reduced in astrocyte endfeet membranes adjacent to blood vessels in cerebellum and cerebral cortex of alpha-Syn(-/-) mice, but is present at higher than normal levels in membranes facing neuropil. In contrast, AQP4 is virtually absent from skeletal muscle in alpha-Syn(-/-) mice. Deletion of the PDZ-binding consensus (Ser-Ser-Val) at the AQP4 C terminus similarly reduced expression in transfected cell lines, and pulse-chase labeling demonstrated an increased degradation rate. These results demonstrate that perivascular localization of AQP4 in brain requires alpha-Syn, and stability of AQP4 in the membrane is increased by the C-terminal PDZ-binding motif.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2001 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    P Pohl · S M Saparov · M J Borgnia · P Agre
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    ABSTRACT: Aquaporins are membrane channels selectively permeated by water or water plus glycerol. Conflicting reports have described ion conductance associated with some water channels, raising the question of whether ion conductance is a general property of the aquaporin family. To clarify this question, a defined system was developed to simultaneously measure water permeability and ion conductance. The Escherichia coli water channel aquaporin-Z (AqpZ) was studied, because it is a highly stable tetramer. Planar lipid bilayers were formed from unilamellar vesicles containing purified AqpZ. The hydraulic conductivity of bilayers made from the total extract of E. coli lipids increased 3-fold if reconstituted with AqpZ, but electric conductance was unchanged. No channel activity was detected under voltage-clamp conditions, indicating that less than one in 10(9) transport events is electrogenic. Microelectrode measurements were simultaneously undertaken adjacent to the membrane. Changes in sodium concentration profiles accompanying transmembrane water flow permitted calculation of the activation energies: 14 kcal/mol for protein-free lipid bilayers and 4 kcal/mol for lipid bilayers containing AqpZ. Neither the water permeability nor the electric conductivity exhibited voltage dependence. This sensitive system demonstrated that AqpZ is permeated by water but not charged ions and should permit direct analyses of putative electrogenic properties of other aquaporins.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2001 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    L S King · P Agre

    Preview · Article · Apr 2001 · American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
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    M J Borgnia · P Agre
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    ABSTRACT: A large family of membrane channel proteins selective for transport of water (aquaporins) or water plus glycerol (aquaglyceroporins) has been found in diverse life forms. Escherichia coli has two members of this family-a water channel, AqpZ, and a glycerol facilitator, GlpF. Despite having similar primary amino acid sequences and predicted structures, the oligomeric state and solute selectivity of AqpZ and GlpF are disputed. Here we report biochemical and functional characterizations of affinity-purified GlpF and compare it to AqpZ. Histidine-tagged (His-GlpF) and hemagglutinin-tagged (HA-GlpF) polypeptides encoded by a bicistronic construct were expressed in bacteria. HA-GlpF and His-GlpF appear to form oligomers during Ni-nitrilotriacetate affinity purification. Sucrose gradient sedimentation analyses showed that the oligomeric state of octyl glucoside-solubilized GlpF varies: low ionic strength favors subunit dissociation, whereas Mg(2+) stabilizes tetrameric assembly. Reconstitution of affinity-purified GlpF into proteoliposomes increases glycerol permeability more than 100-fold and water permeability up to 10-fold compared with control liposomes. Glycerol and water permeability of GlpF both occur with low Arrhenius activation energies and are reversibly inhibited by HgCl(2). Our studies demonstrate that, unlike AqpZ, a water-selective stable tetramer, purified GlpF exists in multiple oligomeric forms under nondenaturing conditions and is highly permeable to glycerol but less well permeated by water.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2001 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    V Leitch · P Agre · L S King
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    ABSTRACT: Aquaporin-1 (AQP1) water channel protein expression is increased by hypertonic stress. The contribution of changes in protein stability to hypertonic induction of AQP1 have not been described. Incubation of BALB/c fibroblasts spontaneously expressing AQP1 with proteasome inhibitors increased AQP1 expression, suggesting basal proteasome-dependent degradation of the protein. Degradation by the proteasome is thought to be triggered by polyubiquitination of a target protein. To determine whether AQP1 is ubiquitinated, immunoprecipitation with anti-AQP1 antibodies was performed, and the resultant samples were probed by protein immunoblot for the presence of ubiquitin. Immunoblots demonstrated ubiquitination of AQP1 under control conditions that increased after treatment with proteasome inhibitors (MG132, lactacystin). Exposure of cells to hypertonic medium for as little as 4 h decreased ubiquitination of AQP1, an effect that persisted through 24 h in hypertonic medium. Using metabolic labeling with [(35)S]methionine, the half-life of AQP1 protein under isotonic conditions was found to be <4 h. AQP1 protein half-life was markedly increased by exposure of cells to hypertonic medium. These observations provide evidence that aquaporins are a target for ubiquitination and proteasome-dependent degradation. Additionally, these studies demonstrate that reduced protein ubiquitination and increased protein stability lead to increased levels of AQP1 expression during hypertonic stress.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2001 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: The Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome database contains two ORFs with homology to aquaporins, AQY1 and AQY2. Aqy1p has been shown to be a functional aquaporin in some strains, such as Sigma1278b. AQY2 is disrupted by a stop codon in most strains; however, Sigma1278b has an intact ORF. Because Sigma1278b Aqy2p has an intracellular localization in Xenopus oocytes and in yeast, other strains of yeast were examined. Aqy2p from Saccharomyces chevalieri has a single amino acid in the third transmembrane domain (Ser-141) that differs from Sigma1278b Aqy2p (Pro-141). S. chevalieri Aqy2p is a functional water channel in oocytes and traffics to the plasma membrane of yeast. The Sigma1278b parental strain, the aqy1-aqy2 double null yeast, and null yeast expressing S. chevalieri Aqy2p were examined under various conditions. Comparison of these strains revealed that the aquaporin null cells were more aggregated and their surface was more hydrophobic. As a result, the aquaporin null cells were more flocculent and more efficient at haploid invasive growth. Despite its primary intracellular localization, Sigma1278b Aqy2p plays a role in yeast similar to Aqy1p and S. chevalieri Aqy2p. In addition, Aqy1p and Aqy2p can affect cell surface properties and may provide an advantage by dispersing the cells during starvation or during sexual reproduction.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2001 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Opacities in the crystalline lens of eye appear with high frequency in the general population. Dominantly inherited cataracts with differing clinical features were found in two families carrying different point mutations in the gene encoding lens water channel protein AQP0 (major intrinsic protein, MIP). Families with E134G have a uni-lamellar cataract which is stable after birth, whereas families with T138R have multi-focal opacities which increase throughout life. To establish pathophysiological relevance of cataract formation, the Xenopus laevis oocyte expression system was employed to evaluate functional defects in the mutant proteins, E134G and T138R. Both substitutions cause loss of membrane water channel activity due to impaired trafficking of the mutant proteins to the oocyte plasma membrane. Although missense mutations in AQP1 and AQP2 proteins are known to result in recessive traits in vivo and in vitro, when E134G or T138R are co-expressed with wild-type AQP0 protein, the mutant proteins exhibit dominant negative behaviour. To our knowledge, these studies represent the first in vitro demonstration of functionally defective AQP0 protein from humans with congenital cataracts. Moreover, these observations predict that less severe defects in the AQP0 protein may contribute to lens opacity in patients with common, less fulminant forms of cataracts.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2000 · Human Molecular Genetics
  • P Agre

    No preview · Article · May 2000 · Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
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    J D Hoffert · V Leitch · P Agre · L S King
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    ABSTRACT: Aquaporin-5 (AQP5) is a water channel protein expressed in lung, salivary gland, and lacrimal gland epithelia. Each of these sites may experience fluctuations in surface liquid osmolarity; however, osmotic regulation of AQP5 expression has not been reported. This study demonstrates that AQP5 is induced by hypertonic stress and that induction requires activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Incubation of mouse lung epithelial cells (MLE-15) in hypertonic medium produced a dose-dependent increase in AQP5 expression; AQP5 protein peaked by 24 h and returned to baseline levels within hours of returning cells to isotonic medium. AQP5 induction was observed only with relatively impermeable solutes, suggesting an osmotic pressure gradient is required for induction. ERK was selectively activated in MLE-15 cells by hypertonic stress, and inhibition of ERK activation with two distinct mitogen-activated extracellular regulated kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitors, U0126 and PD98059, blocked AQP5 induction. AQP5 induction was also observed in the lung, salivary, and lacrimal glands of hyperosmolar rats, suggesting potential physiologic relevance for osmotic regulation of AQP5 expression. This report provides the first example of hypertonic induction of an extrarenal aquaporin, as well as the first association between mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling and aquaporin expression.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2000 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    A Engel · Y Fujiyoshi · P Agre
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    ABSTRACT: The history of the water channel and recent structural and functional analyses of aquaporins are reviewed. These ubiquitous channels are important for bacteria, plants and animals, exhibit a pronounced sequence homology and share functional as well as structural similarities. Aquaporins allow water or small specific solutes to pass unhindered, but block the passage of ions to prevent dissipation of the transmembrane potential. Besides advances in structure determination, recent experiments suggest that many of these channels are regulated by pH variations, phosphorylation and binding of auxiliary proteins.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2000 · The EMBO Journal

  • No preview · Chapter · Jan 2000
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    ABSTRACT: Aquaporin (AQP) water-channel proteins are freely permeated by water but not by ions or charged solutes. Although mammalian aquaporins were believed to be located in plasma membranes, rat AQP6 is restricted to intracellular vesicles in renal epithelia. Here we show that AQP6 is functionally distinct from other known aquaporins. When expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, AQP6 exhibits low basal water permeability; however, when treated with the known water channel inhibitor, Hg2+, the water permeability of AQP6 oocytes rapidly rises up to tenfold and is accompanied by ion conductance. AQP6 colocalizes with H+-ATPase in intracellular vesicles of acid-secreting alpha-intercalated cells in renal collecting duct. At pH less than 5.5, anion conductance is rapidly and reversibly activated in AQP6 oocytes. Site-directed mutation of lysine to glutamate at position 72 in the cytoplasmic mouth of the pore changes the cation/anion selectivity, but leaves low pH activation intact. Our results demonstrate unusual biophysical properties of an aquaporin, and indicate that anion-channel function may now be explored in a protein with known structure.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 1999 · Nature

Publication Stats

12k Citations
800.83 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007
    • Duke University
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 2006
    • Duke University Medical Center
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 1988-2004
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • • Department of Biological Chemistry
      • • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • Department of Medicine
      San Francisco, California, United States
  • 1995-2001
    • Aarhus University
      • Institute of Anatomy
      Aarhus, Central Jutland, Denmark
  • 1988-2001
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • • Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
      • • Department of Biological Chemistry
      • • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1994
    • The University of Arizona
      • Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
      Tucson, Arizona, United States
  • 1993
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Columbia University
      New York, New York, United States
  • 1992
    • American Heart Association
      Dallas, Texas, United States
  • 1990
    • St. Elizabeth Hospital
      Louisiana, United States
  • 1987-1989
    • Yale University
      • • School of Medicine
      • • Department of Laboratory Medicine
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States